Roderic Quinn

1867 - 1949 / Australia

The Gardener

WITHIN this garden space are set
Sweet mignonette and violet,
Sunk in rich mould; at dawn and night
Their leaves dew-wet.
Who set them in the kindly loam
Lies buried 'neath the clover-foam
Of alien meadows, far away
From his loved home.
If it be glory thus to pass
For Honour's sake, and 'neath the grass
Red-wounded lie, then he, in truth,
Great glory has.
Yet, blossoms that he loved and set! —
Sweet mignonette, sweet violet —
Not Honour's self, nor Glory's crown,
Can stay regret.
'Twixt bud of leaf and fall of leaf,
Why should Fate in an hour so brief
Wreck flower and flower, and nurse alone
The cypress — Grief?
He is not gone — not all of him;
For trees have memories; leaf and limb
Shall breathe his name, and grateful flowers
At twilight dim.
For like these blooms, he left behind
Some fragrance, subtle and refined —
A memoried sweetness that shall haunt
Tree, flower and wind.
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